[28 Days]

So tomorrow marks the first day of going non-stop until the 17th of March. We have a medical team coming (one member already arrived this afternoon..) throughout the day tomorrow until next Saturday. We will be doing mobile clinics as we normally do with medical teams and will be revisiting several villages/areas where we have gone recently. It is always good to double or triple clinics each year so that the people get more than one consultation a year.

Saturday, I will be leaving Haiti and crossing over to the Dominican Republic to visit the FFP staff there and spend several days with them. I am eagerly looking forwards to this trip as I have wanted to get over there since I have been here. It was great to see Kristen (the chief of staff for FFP DR) and her two interns when they came across the border with the leadership team that was in country last week. I haven’t been to the DR since 2013 when Adam and I visited for a week while interning here in Haiti. I am looking forwards to the rest and relaxation and a change of scenery.

Upon returning to Haiti on the 28th, We will be right back into working with Woodside Church, a construction team from Pennsylvania. They are here for 7 days and then the same day they leave, Stone Hill comes! So it’s going to be a busy next 28 days for me!

I ask that you please pray for me physically. The past two or so days my back has been bothering me for no reason whatsoever. The very lower right side hurts almost constantly. It isn’t enough to be crippling but at times when I am bending over or just doing a random movement it stabs me to remind me that it’s still there and it’s still angry 😡 My right foot has suddenly started to hurt as well a little bit… There are random aches and pains that I get here that I have never experienced in the States and it’s really annoying at times. They just come and go whenever they please. So please be in prayer for healing physically and also for stamina to serve and be active for the next chunk of days. I am looking forward to these next groups as I know them well and they are fun and relatively easy to work with. Please also pray for traveling mercies for the three teams and for me as I cross the border.

Many thanks,

Mesi anpil,

Ben

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A lil bit of this and a lil bit of that

Normally I have something specific I want to write about before I post, today is not the case, I don’t even really know what to title this post. I feel the need to jot down some emotions and thoughts but at the same time I don’t really know what, so I pray that the Holy Spirit within me would lead my mind/hands in whatever I will henceforth post.

*takes a gulp of some of the best coffee on Earth*

Everyone knows that I am a sinner. Even if this is the first blog post of mine that you have read, even if you have never met me. You probably have some understanding that inside every person there is evil: a tendency to think/speak/do bad things. I am no different. I am one of the weakest of these. I hold no strength in my own will. When I was younger I wasn’t aware of this fact and so when the temptation to do anything that was not proper of a man holding the label “Christian” came up, I would just give in and do whatever my flesh pulled me to do. Some of you might not know this, but I had a pretty bad anger problem which peaked in sending a young girl (a friend) to the ER. Those who were in my circle at the time might not have noticed that there was an anger in me because it didn’t come out very often, but when it did it exploded with great force. I still have little temptations of this sin left in my life, but by God’s grace I have been broken and restored in this area.

I have already discussed my most prevalent sin in a previous blog post and am still in need of God’s grace to both combat it and forgive me. It is in this battle that I have recently been learning the most about my God. The vastness of his love and grace is so much more tangible when you know you need it. Fierce by Jesus Culture comes to mind when I think of me in relation to the love of the Father. At other times I haven’t been acutely aware of these facets of God because they have not been thrown in my face, and while it is humbling to think of, it also brings tears to my eyes when my sin is met with love and forgiveness for the 100th, 500th, 1,000th time. It doesn’t make sense, but then again, true pure love doesn’t. I’m not talking about the “love” that the world thinks is love: the infatuation and lust that is so often slapped with the love label. The love I’m talking about is the sacrificial, no-strings-attached, choice that the Father has taken. It teaches me how to love better. It reminds me of how I need to love others because I have been loved.

I keep coming back to the fact that he has chosen me to be his hands and feet in Haiti…me? This guy? It spurs me on to work harder, to love harder. How can I not love (and everything that implies: forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice) those that have been put in front of me when I have undeservedly received love every single day of my life? I am humbled to be seen as worthy in the eyes of the Father. That he would give me the responsibilities of serving his children in Haiti, or anywhere for that matter. That he would put me in leadership positions and trust me with anything really.

*looks at coffee cup but realizes it’s gone, goes to get more*

I’m not sure where to go from here..

*gulps coffee*

I..

*gulps coffee*

BTW I’m listening to Benjah. You should go check him out.

SO, in lieu of Valentine’s day approaching, I’ve been looking forward expectantly to the day that God blesses me with my “good thing” (Prov. 18:22). I have taken more seriously in the past few months my sin and spiritual disciplines in preparation for a Proverbs 31 woman. I know that I need to get my act together if someone would agree to marry me. So if you all could please be in prayer for me in that respect I would be very grateful. I have begun to pray for her that God would prepare her heart and mine even before we get together. I hadn’t looked forward to this for a long time now, and now that I am, I’m trying not to “awaken love before it’s time.” If I’m honest though, that is hard. The heart and it’s emotions are a strong thing. Protecting one’s heart can be very hard: we often want to rush into love with arms wide open. Waiting is always a pain. But I’ve had the grace to master all these things. I need prayer to continue mastering them haha.. As I said, I am weak.

IN OTHER NEWS, from next week until the middle of March I will be busy nonstop. WE have a medical group from Eastern Michigan University coming on Sunday and leaving next Saturday and that same day I will be leaving to visit the FFP peeps in the Dominican Republic until the 28th because we have another group coming on the 1st of March. After that group Stone Hill comes! Looking forward to serving these next three groups and I’d appreciate prayers for strength to lead and serve and work well. Please also pray for protection for groups and our staff. The reality of working in Haiti is that it’s dangerous. In the words of Pastor V, the day we as an organization stop praying for and thanking God for his protection, is the day that we put ourselves in grave danger.

Thank you all for your continued support both monetarily and in prayer. Please know that it is changing lives, of which mine is one.

Much love,

Ben

BROsauce

This past week I had the pleasure of joining a mission team from Tuscon AZ that was serving with an organization called Cross to Light Ministries. It was a time of retreat and recharge for me personally, of which I am very grateful.

It was very cool to be able to join a different organization and see how they run and what they do and where they work. I don’t get a chance to do stuff like that often here! What Cross to Light does is takes 6-8 young Haitian men and for two years straight all they do is study the bible in the context of church planting and becoming pastors. We were with the fourth group of students (who just started this past week) and the org already has 8 churches planted all over the country. The man who started the organization from scratch after being called to come live here after the earthquake is named Brian. He is such an inspiration and a man of faith! His energy just oozes out and infects everyone around him. It was awesome getting to hear some of his story about how God moved powerfully in his life to bring him here and establish him 8 years ago.

The meat of our days was taken teaching through the book of Job. Each morning for 3.5-5 hours one of the mission team members would teach and the bible institute students would ask question after question after question. These guys are truly on fire for the Lord! The afternoons were taken by medical clinics, construction or gardening at a second property that Cross to Light owns and is using to build a guest house for their groups. Such a great project to be a part of!

The best part of the three days I was there was getting to know the team. It was a great group of men and women and children from their church in AZ. It was amazing to be able to catch up with John and talk about life and relationships and ministry. John is such a blessing to me and it has been about 4 years since I had the chance to sit with him and share about each others lives. I believe this was the most nourishing aspect of these past three days, just getting to reconnect with a cherished friend once more and glorify God together both in service and in conversation. My heart is truly blessed and full as I return home to the FFP house and get ready for the leader’s trip that is coming this next week. I feel like a new man, refreshed and ready to face anything! God is so good, he has been so good to me and will continue to be so good. I am continuously awed at how he chooses to bless me even when I do not deserve to be blessed. Great is his name!

John “the beast” Beeson aka Johnny Boy it was dope to be able to serve alongside you and your team in Haiti. Love you bro.

Avek Jezi, tout bagay anfom.

Ben

Sleepless in Santo

This isn’t anything new to me since being here in Haiti. I have struggled with sleep over the past 6 months. It had started with a supernatural event at the house one night that kept us all up and awake until ~4:30AM. That night was something new for me, something I had never experienced. Let me tell you firsthand, there are spirits in this world, and some of them are evil.

Since then, I have had troubles with sleep off and on, it comes and it goes. I can never tell when I won’t be able to sleep that night; sleep just decides to allude me for a while before I drift off, often at around 2 or 3 AM. It has yet to do this while we have a group (thankfully). It is always on off days/weeks. Sometimes I have work the next day, at other times I don’t. It’s really unpredictable.

I am not sure what has been keeping me up randomly, aside from that first night. It isn’t a sense of fear, or that something is watching me. It isn’t that I’ve had too much caffeine before bed. I just lay awake, sometimes with my eyes hurting from how tired I am, sleepless until way later than I want. I wouldn’t doubt that this has some spiritual ties to it in some way. So my request is simply this: please over the next 8 months pray deep sleep over me at night. I haven’t ever had troubles sleeping before this past 6 months and so I had never experienced how truly aggravating it is to wish to sleep and not be able to. I know there are people who struggle with this on the regular, and I cannot imagine what it must feel like.. Just this small taste is more than enough for me. I value sleep very much, especially somewhere that isn’t all that comfortable living-wise.

Again I ask you to please be in prayer with me for this. It isn’t anything too serious or life threatening, but God created the body with sleep in mind. Robbing the body of sleep is not healthy physically, emotionally, spiritually. I hope that this finds its end soon, and that I can go back to not having to think about whether or not I will be able to fall asleep tonight.

He knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The body is weak and needs many things. I pray for rest.

Until next time,

Ben

A little honesty. AKA me being vulnerable about the things that used to define me.

 

I’ve wrestled with myself for a year now over whether or not to share this explicitly. Well, I guess I’ve come to the point where I feel I can be totally open about my struggles as a broken, sinful person. It may be easier to write this as a blog then to tell people face to face, or even over social media such as whatsapp or FB messenger, after all, those are instant and people can respond within seconds. I think the fact that this is just out there for people to read or not, makes it easier than having personal conversations with people about it. Those have always been hardest for me as I have dealt with shame and regret many times in the past (as is normal with habitual sin). But I believe I am past that now, I have not had a problem opening up to several close friends in the past year or so that I never would have before, especially when this beast was at its worst.

The struggle that I have had since I was in middle school (I only say that because I don’t remember at what age it started) is that of lust, specifically pornography. High school and the few years after were the worst for me, action-wise. At the peak of my addiction I watched pornography up to three times a day: a full-blown addiction. I tried accountability partners, internet monitoring software, etc. but the whisper of my idol would always convince me to find a way around the roadblocks (albeit weak) I had set up to block it off from my heart. You see, lust is a problem of the heart. In essence, I wanted something that God created for his glory, his goodness, but I wanted it in a way that was glorifying to my own flesh. That’s what sexual sin is, it’s the belief that God’s way is not ultimately good, and willingness to break that and use it for your own selfish desires. Selfishness.. now that’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life, and I don’t think I’m the only one who has. Anyway, throughout high school this selfishness of the heart and flesh ruled my life. It seeped into my thought life, changing the way I viewed girls/women around me; my sisters in Christ. When it called, I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say no, I gave in time and time again.

Years go by, I go through my first relationship and because of pornography, I mess it up and things go south. I get called to mission work in a foreign country away from my friends and family (the first time). I come back go the states and get a job working for my church. Things haven’t changed. I am still dealing with this issue. It’s not as tough as it was in high school but I’m still struggling. I am slowly getting better at saying no, at resisting the pull of my idol. Two years pass, I get the call to live in Haiti for a longer period of time. I move, I start working for FFP in Haiti. I am now a full-time missionary… lust is still at my doorstep. If I’m honest, this will always be a struggle for me. The choice is mine whether or not to let if overcome me and become an addiction again or not. The thing that is different now, is that I am not relying on my own strength to beat this thing that is much more powerful than I am. I am weak. I am in need of something outside myself to bead this. And this is partly why I have decided to share this. As a step towards victory, I know that where there is light, darkness cannot thrive. (John 1:5)

I am not perfect. I still am weak in my flesh. I still need grace daily. My plea to you is that you would be in prayer for me. That I would walk in the reality that I am a child of the Light, that in me there should not even be a hint of immorality. (Ephesians 5:3) I am also trying to prepare myself for marriage, and this kind of thing cannot be left to run rampant in the life of a man who wishes to love a wife. Please feel free to message me if you have questions, I am an open book. God has taught me alot about being open in the past year or so. I have learned much about myself and my own struggles and how God intends to slowly change me, to slowly mold that stubborn clay. As I daily give myself to Christ and what he has for me instead of my own selfish desires and lusts, I know that there is hope even for a sinner like me.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my honest; after all it’s not something that people want to talk about. I only wish that you life holy hands in prayer for me as I struggle with myself and with this temptation that is ever before me. The road to righteousness is marked by struggle. The sanctification of Ben Henrie in still in progress, “loading” as you could say.

I am not giving up

This is the year I totally break free

Thanks for listening,

This has been your host, Ben Henrie.

You have been reading advenuresofben.

God bless

Quick Fundraising Update

Our second team of the year just left this morning and we have a good break before the next teams come so I thought now would be a good time to update you all on this year’s fundraising.

Last month I got an email with a breakdown of my fundraising to date and what is still needed. Before I get into that let me first say I am constantly grateful for the community that has gathered around me and essentially sent me to Haiti. I say it time and time again and I’ll say it once more, without you all, I wouldn’t be here. Your monetary sacrifices are what sent me here and are what continue to keep me here as I finish out my second year.

Firstly, I know some of my supporters were only partnering with me for my first year, so if that’s you could you please do me a huge favor and let me know that your support is finished? This will help me a bunch and make it easier to figure out what I still need for the rest of the year. Thank you!! Your support has meant the world to me. I have been living out God’s calling on my life for the past year because of YOU!

To the update! So what I was told is if every monthly supporter I had from last year continues their monthly giving (I know this isn’t the case) through this second year, then I only need around $4,000 to finish out! That number is amazing! I wasn’t expecting that number to be so small this early in the year. The generosity is just crazy! God is so faithful isn’t he?

So that being said, my two years is technically up at the end of September, but I have decided that if we have enough groups to keep me here until December then I will just finish out the year. I won’t really know that until later in the year when all of our teams have signed up.. So keep your eyes out for that update!

Again, thanks all who have supported me and the ministry of Foundation for Peace and Haiti and ultimately, God with their sacrificial giving.

Please continue to pray for me both physically and spiritually. This year is going to be even better than last year by God’s grace!

Much love,

Ben

New year, same me

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to carve out a chunk of time this week so I can write down some thoughts and today presented the perfect opportunity. The medical team and staff are taking the day off at Kaliko beach club, a resort to the north of Port-au-Prince.

So this is a new year! I’d like to take some time to talk about the past year as well as the year to come..

My first full year living and serving in Haiti was a crazy experience. Many of you who have followed this blog or caught up with me via FB and WhatsApp know this to be true. It was a hard year full of ups and downs but underlined by the mercies of God and covered by his grace. I have had to learn how to give up desires of my heart in order to give in to the desires that God has for me. I have needed to run to grace more times than I can count. I have seen the face of God in the children of this country. I have become more in tune with his heart. I have been the (sometimes stubborn) clay in the hand of the potter. It has been a roller coaster of a year. God has taught me so much about being the man he wants me to be. He has proven his faithfulness to both his kingdom and myself in the way he has continued to provide for me. I am so grateful for the super generous people he has put in my life to keep me in his will. Without all of you who support me both financially as well as prayerfully it wouldn’t be possible for me to serve here. I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me even in the smallest way. God does amazing things with the smallest of sacrifices. I will take some time in a couple weeks to update everyone about my finances and where I stand for this year.

A new business venture was started this past year and is doing well. The motorcycle parts store that the four of us had started is continuing to do well up on the mountain in Gwo Cheval! Every report I here from our business partner Walmy is a good one. He always tells me the people are asking for many other things that we cannot yet buy because of the lack of capital. This is a good thing! We are only limited by capital now, the demand is huge. We have finished paying off our first loan from the bank in Gantye and are looking to get a bigger one so we can get a big jump start to the year. Doing business in Haiti is so much easier than it is in the US! I have been encouraged that we are heading in an upward, albeit slow, direction. Small progress is better than none!

This coming year I have determined to work on myself and my spiritual life much more than last year. Last year I was busy with focusing on work and doing that well and I kind of left my spiritual growth in the dust. I watched way too much Netflix and read way to little of the Bible and other spiritual literature. I dislike reading books so the resolve to grow is going to be a struggle but I trust that you all will be praying for me as I struggle with it! I want to feed myself instead of just entertain myself. I have also resolved to become a better man both spiritually as a leader and physically/emotionally as a person. I want to do some serious soul and heart work and prepare myself for eventually getting married. There are alot of issues I have as a person that I want to right before I head down that road. Please also be in prayer for this and don’t hesitate to ask me about how I am doing in my walk! I need as many reminders and encouragers as possible.

My growth as a leader is essential to my work here in Haiti. I need to be able to make decisions with clarity and wisdom. I need to be able to lead both physically in work as well as spiritually when it is needed. As I continue in this position I ask that you please pray for wisdom in all my dealings both for the organization and business wise.

I wish to continue to do business this coming year and there are several things on that plate that I want to execute with different people here. Wesley and I are hoping to start doing work in recycling and pastor and I are hoping to start something with chickens. God knows the desires of our hearts and plans our steps. I would appreciate prayer in this area as well, that God would show favor on these ventures and that we would be able to start all that we want to.

I will also update on teams at a later date as I just wanted to talk about last year as well as this coming year. This team has been great so far! They are very well organized. Thank you to everyone who said hi while I was back in NJ this past month, it was great to talk to and see friends and family. Again, thank you for your support and know that your sacrifices are not in vein!

God bless you all,

Avek lanmou,

Ben